Letting Go of Facebook

Deleting Facebook and Other Social Media Accounts

My facebook profile photoFacebook Sucks! It sucks up my time, it sucks up my energy and it sucks up my personal information and sells it to the highest bidder. I have to leave it just to protect my privacy, recover my zest for life and give me better control of what life I have left.

What’s ironic about this post is that I don’t like dramatic exit posts. I’ve been a moderator or administrator of forums and message boards for over 20 years, so I’ve seen quite a few of these I’m-outa-here-SUCKER messages. They are usually intended to ridicule the site owners or staff, or complain about how poorly they’ve been treated and make a daytime soap, dramatic episode out of it. My general reaction, as a mod/admin, to threads like that is to just delete them. I’m hoping this post won’t be seen in a similar light by my friends, but if you do, please stop reading now, or at any time before you reach the end.

My facebook cover photo

The last thing I want to do is make this dramatic. That’s because for the last couple of years, I have participated in far too much drama on facebook already. Some of it I’ve created myself by making snarky replies to other people’s posts. I get all worked up over actual fake news and malicious memes and rampant prejudice and online bullies. My blood pressure rises after spending an hour or more trying to make a beautiful photo to share, then the software facebook uses compresses the file size of the photo, which causes over-sharpening to be applied and sometimes distorts the color. Then there’s the guilt I feel when I don’t have any new photos to share, or can’t come up with an appropriate response to someone who has shared something joyful or sad.

Oddly enough, I am quite socially clumsy – in real life, that is. I’ve always avoided crowded gatherings where I am expected to be a conversationalist. I took a public speaking class once to help me get over my unease, but dropped out in less than a week. There was that time I decided to change careers and went to cosmetology school – you know how much a hair dresser/manicurist talks – and dropped out after about a month. Even the photography class I took and enjoyed learning so much from, I dropped out of before the end of the semester because we were expected to stand in front of the class and give presentations of our photos. I was lucky that my life long career was in flooring, where the classes were short and sporadic and I usually only had one or two people to discuss a new job with.

Are We Friends, or Just Facebook Friends?

I have over 1,400 facebook friends; what about them? I’m grateful to them all (YOU all), but truthfully, most of them I don’t know much about, except that they liked my photos enough to comment on them and sometimes shared them with their friends. A handful are members of my flooring forum, TheFloorPro.com/community/ or are a fellow member of one of the other forums I participate on because of a shared interest in photography, Jeep KJs, or website design, coding and administration. Ninety-five percent of them I sent a friend request to and they accepted. I’ve received a few friend requests, but the great majority of friend requests I’ve received are from people like you see below. Yeah, as if an old guy who sucks air through a hose in his nose has something going on that attracts an inordinate number of would-be friends who look like them. Not that I don’t have real friends that are very attractive and interesting, but c’mon… behind those “friend requests” are scammers who prey on the gullibility of others and hope that their privacy settings allow them to harvest even more “friends” who will be lured into clicking some malicious link that will steal your money, information or harm your computer. I know because when I visit their FB pages to investigate, I see that a smattering of my (usually male) friends are their friends. I wanna ask them, are you delusional?

If you really are a friend, we will continue to be friends. Even those who live in other parts of the world. We’ll still be able to hang out together on the forums we participate on, or I’ll subscribe to your website or blog, maybe you’ll subscribe to mine. And there are those friends who live where I live, or we travel to visit each other. I will still run into some of my old flooring customers while shopping, or I will find myself in your place of business, or you’ll pull me over for exhibition of speed on my Segway, or you will just call me to chat or text on the phone occasionally. We will stay connected somehow and I hope you will always forgive me for my awkwardness.

It is pretty much guaranteed that I will piss fewer people off for telling them they are wrong about some stupid meme they shared. I won’t tell you to search for the truth and I certainly won’t link you to a fact site that you claim is biased, but won’t admit that it’s only because it proves you were wrong. You won’t have to deride me because you think I am either too liberal or too conservative (I attack lies, no matter what side they come from). But the best part is my stress levels will be greatly reduced. Not participating on facebook will probably extend my life, or at least improve my attitude about it. I know I will miss it at first. After all, it is an addiction of sorts and the withdrawals may last a little while. I will be freer and healthier for kicking that bad habit though.

Please do visit this site occasionally. This is my personal blog. If the only reason you like me is my photos, that’s okay too. I will try to post more of those here too, but my main photo site is still JimMcClainPhotos.com. If you would like to subscribe to my blog and get an email notification every time I post a new article, here’s a quick & easy way to do it:

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